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Student Congress smart to delay bridge bill vote

Feb. 13, 2001

We thank Student Congress for heeding the editorial board's advice and changing the legislation concerning the pedestrian bridge at Eighth Street and Interstate 35. Rather than voting to recommend to the Texas Department of Transportation that the bridge be closed, Student Congress wisely voted to have Baylor conduct a full review of the uses and safety concerns of the bridge.

Instead of hastily voting to close the bridge, as Student Congress' initial bill would have done, Student Congress will now be able to better understand the positives and negatives of the bridge issue.

The review by the school will allow Student Congress to see exactly who uses the bridge, when and how it is used, and to study the safety hazards and criminal activities that take place on or around the bridge. The bill is one of the first in a series of actions Student Congress plans to take this semester dealing with safety issues on campus. Safety 2001, as the initiative is being called, is an attempt by Student Congress to make not only the campus safer, but also the surrounding areas. The editorial board addressed this issue in Friday's editorial concerning Baylor's 10-year vision. Safety issues are, and will continue to be, a prime concern for Baylor. We commend the leaders of Student Congress for tackling this issue and trying to increase awareness concerning safety issues at Baylor.

Studying the uses and safety concerns of the pedestrian bridge over I-35 is a good start, as it has been known to serve as an escape route for criminals. However, before any further recommendation concerning the bridge is made, it is our hope that Student Congress will carefully weigh the benefits that the bridge provides against the safety concerns it presents.

The walkway serves a vital role by linking Baylor and Waco, not only physically, but symbolically, and a decision to remove this link should be made with much scrutiny.